The rapture of the church has become a concept in the Christian world. It has become the general end time scenario that at the end of time a seven-year period of great tribulation will take place. The church will then be raptured. There are various versions of this view, such as a rapture prior to the great tribulation or a rapture during the great tribulation. What they all have in common is the thought that a great tribulation is coming and that believers will be taken up into heaven.
What is unusual about this is how few people know the origin of this generally accepted end time scenario. Nevertheless countless books, visions, end time scenarios and speakers elaborate on it, though in fact the doctrine of the ‘rapture of the church’ has only been around for the last couple of centuries. Yet this theory is generally accepted today as if it were an established fact. How did that happen? Where does this theory come from and how much actual support for it is there to be found in the Bible?
All of this is reason enough to thoroughly examine the emergence of this view and the arguments often used in support of it; but most of all reason to examine what the Bible teaches about the great tribulation, the rapture and the return of Jesus!
What does Jesus himself say about the time preceding His return? Do His words provide any basis for us to simply wait calmly until we are raptured? Or are we expected to take a more active stance?
And what if the rapture never comes?